Better siting of renewables could save Europe €45 billion, Siemens finds


Brussels, Belgium — (METERING.COM) — May 17, 2013 – Building and expanding renewable energy installations in the wrong locations in Europe could cost €45 billion in unnecessary investment by 2030, according to Siemens – an amount that corresponds to 4-5 times the current annual investment in solar and wind power plant construction in Germany.

Siemens’ analysis of the electrical power producing systems across Europe finds considerable potential for optimization, especially in connection with plans to expand power generation from renewable energy sources. The crux lies in the choice of location with the estimated saving being possible if installations were built at the sites in Europe that offer the highest power yields.

“In Europe, just the new photovoltaic capacity alone to be built by 2030 amounts to about 138 GW. If these facilities were erected at the sunniest sites, we could save 39 GW of solar equipment – for the same power yield,” said Michael Süß, member of the Corporate Executive Committee of Siemens AG and CEO of Siemens’ Energy Sector. “The choice of site is crucial to the efficiency and economy of wind power, as well.”

In an ongoing study, Siemens is working in cooperation with the Technical University of Munich to examine energy systems worldwide with the aim of ascertaining their utilization rate of resources, reliability of supply, sustainability and cost efficiency. Based on the realization that billions are being wasted every year as a result of inefficiencies in worldwide energy systems and markets, the study intends to precisely identify and quantify these losses, and to propose solutions.

Siemens has spotlighted four main levers for optimizing energy systems worldwide that can be more or less effective depending on the regional characteristics of the power grids and the power plant fleet:

  • Local optimization of renewable power installations
  • Enhancing the efficiency of the power system as a whole
  • Improvements in the power plant mix
  • More use of electric power for energy needs.

In the study, Siemens is examining regional situations across the globe with allowance for predicted future developments, and identifying the implications for neighboring energy markets. One of the aims is to determine what approaches are most suitable from national and global economic perspectives for creating reliable and sustainable energy systems with high efficiency but still at affordable power prices.

Preliminary results are expected to be made available in October 2013.